Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Guest Post/Excerpt: SPARTACUS: REBELLION by Ben Kane

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on May 31, 2013
Posted in Book Tours  | 1 Comment

Book Description:

Publication Date: May 14, 2013
St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover; 464p
ISBN-10: 1250012775

Spartacus has already done the impossible—not only has he escaped from slavery, he and his seconds have created a mighty slave army that has challenged Rome and defeated the armies of three praetors, two consuls, and one proconsul. On the plain of the River Po, in modern Northern Italy, Spartacus has defeated Gaius Cassius Longinus, proconsul and general of an army of two legions. Now the road home lies before them—to Thrace for Spartacus, and to Gaul for his seconds-in-command, Castus and Gannicus.

But storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. One of Spartacus’s most powerful generals has defected, taking his men with him. Back in Rome, the immensely rich Marcus Licinius Crassus is gathering an unheard-of Army. The Senate has given Crassus an army made up of ten legions and the authority to do whatever it takes to end the slave rebellion once and for all.

Meanwhile, Spartacus wants to lead his men over the Alps and home, but his two seconds have a different plan. They want to march on Rome itself and bring the Republic to its knees. Rebellion has become war. War to the death.


“The author comes into his own during the numerous battle scenes when his burly prose highlights the pain, brutality and chaos of ancient combat. Kane’s Spartacus is brave, vain, ruthless and sexy, a Superman for more savage times. The author is genuinely deserving of praise for taking on this mighty subject matter in such a bold and regularly entertaining fashion. Admirers of Kane’s work to date will not be disappointed and there’s every chance this latest instalment will attract plenty more.” (Daily Express )

“Kane succeeds in drawing a convincing picture of how it might have been, which is what a good historical novel should do.” (Historical Novel Society )

Here’s an Excerpt:

*Ariadne is Spartacus’ wife; Carbo a Roman who is loyal to Spartacus, and that Castus and Gannicus are two of his commanders.

It wasn’t long before Spartacus appeared, accompanied by Ariadne, Castus and Gannicus. Behind him walked soldiers carrying four silver eagles and a large number of cohort standards. There were even several sets of fasces, the ceremonial bundles of rods carried by magistrates’ bodyguards and the symbols of Roman justice. An enormous cheer went up as the Thracian strode to stand by the heap of weapons. Despite his anger, Carbo was filled with awe at the sight of his leader with the battle trophies.
Unsurprisingly, the prisoners’ terrified eyes also focused on Spartacus. They knew who he was, even if they didn’t recognise him. The Thracian was renowned and vilified throughout the Republic as a monster, a man without morals, who defied all societal norms. Here he was, a crop-haired figure in Roman armour, his muscular arms and sword blade covered in their comrades’ blood. Unremarkable in many ways. Yet everything about him, from his emotionless expression to his bunched fists, inspired fear, and threatened death.

‘SPAR-TA-CUS! SPAR-TA-CUS! SPAR-TA-CUS!’ the slaves chanted.

Spartacus raised his arms in recognition of his men’s acclaim.

Castus threw Gannicus a sour look, which was reciprocated. No one noticed.

Ignoring Navio’s cry of ‘Wait!’, Carbo trotted over to Spartacus. ‘Can I have a word?’

‘Now?’ Spartacus’ voice was harsh. Cold.


‘Make it quick.’

‘Is it true that these men but one are to die fighting each other?’

Spartacus’ gaze pinned him to the spot. ‘Yes.’

‘Damn right it is!’ said Gannicus.

‘You got a problem with that?’ growled Castus, fingering the hilt of his sword.

Carbo stayed where he was. ‘They deserve better than this.’

‘Do they? Why?’ Suddenly, Spartacus’ face was right in his. ‘It is how gladiators up and down the length of Italy die every day of the year, for the amusement of your citizens. Many, if not most of those men, have committed no crime.’ Spartacus was aware of the Gauls’ rumbling agree­ment here. ‘What we’re about to see is just a turning of the tables.’

It was hard to deny the logic, but Carbo still felt disgusted. ‘I—’

‘Enough,’ Spartacus barked and Carbo bent his head. To say any more would threaten his friendship with the Thracian, never mind risk an attack from either one of the Gauls. He watched unhappily as Spartacus raised his hands again and a silence fell.

‘I have not called you here to congratulate you for your actions in the battle against Gellius today. You all know how much I admire your courage and loyalty.’ Spartacus let his followers cheer before continuing: ‘We are here for a different reason. A sad reason. Word has reached us of the death of Crixus, and two-thirds of his men. They were lost in a bitter fight against Gellius at Mount Garganus, about a month ago.’

A great, gusty sigh went up from the watching soldiers.

They chose their own fate, thought Carbo. They went with Crixus, the whoreson.

‘As well as our own dead, we must honour Crixus and his fallen men. Ask the gods not to forget them, and to allow every last one entrance to Elysium. What better way of doing that than by celebrating our own munus?’ As an animal growl rose from his followers, Spartacus indicated the pile of gladii. ‘Each prisoner is to pick up a sword. Pair yourself off with another, and walk around the fire until you are told to stop. At my command, you will fight in pairs to the death. The survivors will face each other and so on, until only one man remains.’

The deafening cheers that met Spartacus’ orders drowned out the Romans’ shocked cries. A dozen men moved among them, cutting the ropes that bound them together. None of the prisoners moved a step. Spartacus jerked his head and the guards began jabbing the legionaries with their swords. More than one drew blood, which drew jeers and catcalls down on the captives’ heads. This was better than the former slaves could have dreamed of.

Still no Roman moved to pick up a gladius.

Carbo felt a perverse pride in what he saw. Not all of their courage is gone.

‘Arm yourselves!’ shouted Spartacus. ‘I shall count to three.’

An officer wearing the transverse-crested helmet of a centurion shoved his way to the front of the mob of prisoners. His silver hair, grizzled appearance and the multiple ornate decorations strapped to his chest revealed the length of his career – and his bravery. ‘And if we refuse?’

‘You will be crucified one by one.’ Spartacus raised his voice for all to hear. ‘Right here, for the others to see.’

‘Citizens cannot be—’ The centurion’s face purpled, and his voice tailed away as he realised that Spartacus’ alternative had been carefully picked. Their choice was an ignoble yet redeeming death by the sword, or the most degrading fate possible for a Roman. The centurion thought for a moment, and then stepped forward to pick up a gladius. Straightening, he glared at Spartacus. Perhaps ten paces and half a dozen armed men separated them.

The Thracian grinned and his knuckles whitened on the hilt of his sica. ‘Should you choose it, there is a third option. While I would end your life quickly, I can’t guarantee the same of my men.’

Gritty, passionate and violent, this thrilling book is a real page-turner and a damn good read. It brings Spartacus – and ancient Rome – to vivid, colourful life (Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of Gates of Fire )

Ben Kane manages to bring a freshness to the saga … Told with Kane’s usual panache and historical knowledge, this book is highly recommended (Kathy Stevenson, Daily Mail )

Eyes are merciless, blows are wicked and screams are piercing, but this is a compulsive if relentless story, vividly recounted in muscular prose. Definitely one for the boys (Daily Telegraph, 4 stars )

If you want to become familiar with the lanista and the rudus, to know your scutum from your licium, then Kane’s your man … plenty of action (Independent )

There is much to enjoy in this saga of the downtrodden triumphing temporarily over their oppressors, and the portrait of Spartacus as charismatic leader is a vivid one (Sunday Times)

About Ben Kane:

Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin, and worked in Ireland and the UK for several years. After that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for seeing the world and learning more about ancient history. Seven continents and more than 65 countries later, he decided to settle down, for a while at least.

While working in Northumberland in 2001/2, his love of ancient history was fuelled by visits to Hadrian’s Wall. He naïvely decided to write bestselling Roman novels, a plan which came to fruition after several years of working full time at two jobs – being a vet and writing. Retrospectively, this was an unsurprising development, because since his childhood, Ben has been fascinated by Rome, and particularly, its armies. He now lives in North Somerset with his wife and family, where he has sensibly given up veterinary medicine to write full time.

To find out more about Ben and his books visit www.benkane.net.


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.
Book Description:

Publisher: Three Clover Press (February 1, 2013)
Category: Vietnam War, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
Tour Dates: May 2013
Available in: Print and ebook 384 Pages

In this suspense thriller set during the Vietnam War, Victor Ortega is a rogue CIA agent, and he needs someone to blame for his crimes. Recon Marine Ethan Card is the perfect patsy. As a teen, Ethan ran with a Chicago street gang, and he has a criminal record. He also has a secret lover, Tuyen, who is half Vietnamese and half French.

Tuyen is a stunning, beautiful Viet Cong resistance fighter.

Since she was a young child, Tuyen has lived under the control of her brutal, older, sexually abusive half-brother, Giap, a ruthless and powerful Viet Cong leader, who has forced her to kill Americans in battle or die if she refuses.

When Ethan discovers he is going to be court marshaled for weapons he did not sell to the Viet Cong and Tuyen will be arrested and end up in an infamous South Vietnamese prison, where she will be tortured and raped, he hijacks a U.S. Army helicopter and flees with Tuyen across Southeast Asia while struggling to prove his innocence.

Victor Ortega and Giap—working together with the support of an unwitting American general—will stop at nothing to catch the two, and the hunt is on.

The star-crossed lovers travel across Laos to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat; to Bangkok, Thailand, and then to Burma’s Golden Triangle where Ethan and Tuyen face a ruthless drug lord and his gang.

In the rainforests of Burma, Ethan also discovers Ortega and Giap have set in motion a massive assault on his Marine unit’s remote base in South Vietnam with the goal of killing the man he admires most, Colonel Edward Price, who is the only one who believes Ethan is innocent.

Ethan must risk everything to save Price and his fellow Marines. Will he succeed?

Read Chapter One.

My Thoughts:

When Lloyd Lofthouse approached me about his new book, I got excited. I loved The Concubine Saga so was highly anticipating his next book.  However, I was a bit nervous at the same time because, this time, he write an action/adventure/thriller.  Though I do watch some movies in that genre, I rarely read books in it.

As I started reading, I quickly saw that I didn’t have to worry.  Running With the Enemy has some of the great elements I loved so much in The Concubine Saga; the character development, plot, setting, and historical elements.  All the things I need to make a book a great read.

The action was pretty much non-stop.  The love affair between Ethan and Tuyen felt real.  The bad guys were scary bad!  The only thing that seemed out of place to me, was the character, Victor Ortega’s use of the word “man”.  I know that word was used a lot in the 60’s but he said it at the end of just about every sentence.  For me, it took away from the flow of the novel.

This heart pounding adventure is not for the faint of heart.  It is full of sex and violence.  It is for adults only! That said, I highly recommend it!  Lloyd Lofthouse did it again!  I can hardly wait to see where his next novel takes us!


I received the ebook of this book for my honest opinion.

About Lloyd Lofthouse:

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran, served in Vietnam as a field radio operator in 1966. Back home, Lloyd was a heavy drinker until 1981, never talked about the war and suffered from PTSD. In the early 1980s, he confronted his demons by writing about his war experiences in an MFA program.

Running with the Enemy started as a memoir and then evolved into fiction.

His short story, A Night at the “Well of Purity”, named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards, was based on an event Lloyd experienced in Vietnam.

His novel My Splendid Concubine has earned ten honorable mentions in general fiction—a few examples: the 2008 London Book Festival; 2009 San Francisco Book Festival; 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival, and the 2012 New York Book Festival, etc.

In 1999, his wife, Anchee Min, the author of the memoir Red Azalea, a book that was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1994, introduced Lloyd to Robert Hart, the real-life character of My Splendid Concubine.

After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Marines in 1968, Lloyd went to college on the GI Bill to earn a BA in journalism, and then worked days as a public school teacher for thirty years (1975 – 2005) in addition to nights and weekends as a maître d’ in a Southern California nightclub called the Red Onion (1980-1982).

Loyd’s Website: http://lloydlofthouse.org/

Thanks to the author, Lloyd Lofthouse, I am giving away one copy of Running With the Enemy.  This giveaway is open internationally.  If in the U.S., there is the choice of choice of print, mobi, epub, or pdf.  If outside the U.S., ebook only.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour:
So Many Precious Books May 30 Review & Giveaway
Book Dilettante May 31 Review
M. Denise C. June 4 Review
M. Denise C. June 5 Interview
JoyStory June 6 Review
Sweeps4Bloggers June 10 Review & Giveaway
Dab of Darkness June 11 Review
Romance & Inspiration June 12 Review
Candle Beam Books June 13 Review
Candle Beam Books June 14 Interview & Giveaway
A Booklover’s Library June 17 Review
A Booklover’s LibraryJune 18 Guest Post
DWED Blog June 20 Review
DWED Blog June 21 Interview
Reviewing Novels on Line  June 24 Review
Reviewing Novels on Line  June 25 Interview
My Devotional Thoughts June 25 Review
My Devotional Thoughts June 7 Interview
Tabula Rasa June 26 Review
A Book & Lattee June 27 Review
A Book & Lattee June 28 Interview


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Treat yourself to some great crime thrillers! Buy them Amazon:

Gaijin Cowgirl
Sister Suicide
Dead Sea
Mindfulness & Murder

Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.